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Special Issue "Technical and Organizational Solutions for Limiting the Spread of Pathogens in the Human Environment"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2021) | Viewed by 1935

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Wojciech Kierat
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Digital Systems, Silesian University of Technology, 1644-100 Gliwice, Poland
Interests: exposure to airborn pathogens; gas sensors; indoor air quality; cross infection; fast NDIR

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of IJERPH, we invite all scientists to publish in the Special Edition titled "Technical and Organizational Solutions for Limiting the Spread of Pathogens in the Human Environment". Contributions can include descriptions of original achievements regarding developed technical solutions, as well as test results confirming their effectiveness and usefulness.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which affects the entire globe, has revealed the extent to which a sub-microscopic pathogen can change our everyday life, constituting a serious factor that threatens the lives of the elderly, as well as of healthy people. The restrictions on basic forms of social activity, introduced by the governments of countries struggling with the effects of the pandemic, which are an obvious reaction to the emerging threats of infection with SARS-Cov-2, have led to several consequences. There have been huge losses, of an economic nature as well as the negative phenomena in the psycho-sociological sphere. The loss of, or threat of losing, jobs, along with restrictions on freedom of movement and on the possibility of maintaining direct contact with loved ones, have disturbed the individual’s sense of security, which is a prerequisite for the undisturbed, sustainable functioning of societies, as well as of general public health.

The efforts of scientists in the field of medicine and biology to develop effective pharmaceutical methods of treatment and for the prevention of infections, are accompanied by activities undertaken by representatives of other fields of science in the areas of prevention, not directly related to medicine. Their activities are focused on the development of various methods and measures to prevent or reduce the spread of pathogens on surfaces, in the air, in liquids, through food, on everyday objects, sanitary facilities, etc.

The scope of the Special Issue is the technical and organizational solutions developed related to the following, to be broadly understood as:

  • Implementation of washing, disinfection, and sterilization processes of medical equipment, including flexible endoscopes, devices for general use, and equipment for facilities in public spaces.
  • Methods of disinfecting rooms within hospitals; health care buildings; ambulances; doctors' and dentists’ offices; centres for the elderly and chronically ill; and rooms of other public buildings such as schools, kindergartens, administrative offices, banks, and shops.
  • Gaseous and air decontamination technologies for Clostridioides difficile ( diff) infection (CDI) in the healthcare environment.
  • Testing the activity of chemical disinfectants.
  • Modification of the design and operation guidelines for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) devices.
  • Development of the principles governing the assembly of people, as well as the use of public transport, shops, restaurants, etc., including rules for their enforcement.
  • Methods of hazard detection through limiting large concentrations of people, rapid non-contact temperature checks, blood oxygen level measurements, analyses of the sound of breathing, etc.
  • Computer or telephone applications allowing for an initial diagnosis of the health condition, and an indication of any need to consult a doctor.

Therefore, it seems very useful for scientists to present the results of their research and developed solutions. The availability of this information can be a valuable hint and inspiration for many researchers and designers. State-of-the-art reviews in these areas will also provide valuable input for this Special Issue of IJERPH.

Dr. Wojciech Kierat
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
UltraViolet SANitizing System for Sterilization of Ambulances Fleets and for Real-Time Monitoring of Their Sterilization Level
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010331 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
Background: The contamination of ambulances with pathogenic agents represents a potential threat for the public health, not only for common pathogens but also for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The aim of this project was to exploits the germicidal effect of [...] Read more.
Background: The contamination of ambulances with pathogenic agents represents a potential threat for the public health, not only for common pathogens but also for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The aim of this project was to exploits the germicidal effect of the UVC radiation at 254 nm to sanitize the patient’s compartment of ambulances with an advanced UltraViolet SANitizing System (UV-SAN) and assess its relevance for avoiding the spread of COVID-19 and other drug resistant pathogens. Methods: The system is equipped with UVC lamps that are activated when the ambulance compartment is empty and sanitize the environment in less than 15 min. An Ozone sensor continuously monitors the gas concentration, ensuring it does not exceed threshold value harmful for patients and operators’ health. The system is relying on GNSS data and a satellite communication link, which allow to monitor and record traceability (when, where and what) of all the sanitation operations performed. This information is real-time monitored from a dedicated web-application. Results: UVC irradiation efficiently reduced SARS-CoV-2 virus titer (>99.99%), on inanimate surfaces such as plastic, stainless steel or rubber, with doses ranging from 5.5 to 24.8 mJ/cm2 and the UV-SAN system is effective against multi drug resistant (MDR) bacteria up to >99.99%, after 10 to 30 min of irradiation. Conclusions: UV-SAN can provide rapid, efficient and sustainable sanitization procedures of ambulances. Full article
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Review

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Review
Inactivation of Spores and Vegetative Forms of Clostridioides difficile by Chemical Biocides: Mechanisms of Biocidal Activity, Methods of Evaluation, and Environmental Aspects
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020750 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) are the most common cause of acquired diseases in hospitalized patients. Effective surface disinfection, focused on the inactivation of the spores of this pathogen, is a decisive factor in reducing the number of nosocomial cases of CDI infections. An [...] Read more.
Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) are the most common cause of acquired diseases in hospitalized patients. Effective surface disinfection, focused on the inactivation of the spores of this pathogen, is a decisive factor in reducing the number of nosocomial cases of CDI infections. An efficient disinfection procedure is the result of both the properties of the biocidal agent used and the technology of its implementation as well as a reliable, experimental methodology for assessing the activity of the biocidal active substance based on laboratory models that adequately represent real clinical conditions. This study reviews the state of knowledge regarding the properties and biochemical basis of the action mechanisms of sporicidal substances, with emphasis on chlorine dioxide (ClO2). Among the analyzed biocides, in addition to ClO2, active chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and glutaraldehyde were characterized. Due to the relatively high sporicidal effectiveness and effective control of bacterial biofilm, as well as safety in a health and environmental context, the use of ClO2 is an attractive alternative in the control of nosocomial infections of CD etiology. In terms of the methods of assessing the biocidal effectiveness, suspension and carrier standards are discussed. Full article
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